Christchurch mosque terror attacks: Accused shooter's relatives 'gobsmacked'

Christchurch mosque terror attacks: Accused shooter's relatives 'gobsmacked'

Brenton Tarrant, the man behind Friday's deadly massacre which left at least 49 people dead, appeared before a New Zealend court this morning.

Officers arrested two others following the attacks and are now working to establish whether they had any involvement in the terror attacks against the Muslim community in New Zealand.

New Zealand's stricken residents have been reaching out to Muslims in their neighborhoods and around the country, with a fierce determination to show kindness to a community in pain.

People across the country were still trying to come to terms with the massacre that Ardern described as "one of New Zealand's darkest days".

Some families and friends of the missing continued to wait for information about their loved ones as night fell on Saturday local time and a tight-knit community of Muslims mourned alongside the country and the world.

Daoud Nabi an Afghan man thought to be in his 60s or 70s, reportedly ran into the line of fire to save fellow worshippers at the Al Noor mosque and died shielding someone else from a bullet.

Just before the attack, an account believed to belong to the gunman posted a link to an 87-page white nationalist manifesto on Twitter and 8chan, an online messaging board that has been used by anonymous accounts to share extremist messages and cheer on mass shooters.

Aziz said: "He gets into his vehicle and I just got the gun and threw it on his window like an arrow and blasted his window".

The second attack took place at the Linwood mosque about 5 kilometres (3 miles) away.

Two other people were in custody and police said they were working to understand their involvement.

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At least 44 other people were injured, and dozens of people were rescued from the nearby Tiu Kelep waterfall. Two Malaysian women have been killed by a landslide triggered by an natural disaster in Lombok.

"I can tell you one thing right now, our gun laws will change", Ardern said.

Dozens of people laid flowers at cordons near both mosques in Christchurch, which is still rebuilding after an natural disaster in 2011 killed nearly 200 people.

Forty-one people were killed at the Al Noor mosque.

"That list was compiled as a result of work done with victims and with senior religious leaders and was done to give some certainty to victims' families", he said.

"We know that there's been young Somalis that have lost their life, people of Turkish backgrounds that have been injured", he told NPR's Weekend Edition from the airport, on his way to Christchurch.

Later emphasizing that "now is the time for change", Ardern said New Zealand previously attempted to reform its firearm laws in 2005, 2012, and 2017.

Tarrant lived in Dunedin, on New Zealand's South Island, and was a member of the Bruce Rifle Club, according to media reports which quoted club members saying he often practiced shooting an AR-15, which is a lightweight semi-automatic rifle.

"We are a nation who will never accept acts like this!", said a poster-sized message decorated with hearts. "At this moment, only one person has been charged in relation to these attacks".

Ardern outlined that five guns were used by the perpetrator - who held a gun license - out of which two were semi-automatic weapons and two were shotguns.

"It's just so much of everything to take in that somebody in our family would do anything like this", she said in the NSW town of Grafton.

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